TAIPEI (The China Post) — After nine years of reconstruction, the Suhua Highway opened to the public as of early January. The highway will pass through one of the largest towns in Yilan County, Nan’ao Township. However, not many people realize the nearby Datong Township is home to a hidden gem — Taipingshan National Forest Recreation Area.
From snowy scenes, hot springs, waterfalls to forests, every season brings about a new feature to the picturesque mountain view. In this season, Discover Taiwan brings you along to see the sunrise of Wangyangshan, admire the Milky Way above Cueifong Lake, and walk along the path of Jianqing Huaigu Trail.
A new day on Wangyangshan
With views of both the land and sea, one can stand atop Wangyangshan and overlook the Yilan Plain as well as the Pacific Ocean. To see the sunrise on Wangyangshan, visitors will need to get up at the crack of dawn and hike the Wangyanshan trail for about 1 kilometer to get to the “Sunrise Pavilion”. There, one can witness the sun slowly rise over the horizon and embrace the new day from the mountaintop.
Milky Way on Cueifong Lake
Situated between Taipingshan and Dayuanshan at 1,840 meters above sea level, Cueifong Lake is the biggest alpine lake in Taiwan. In the evening under good weather conditions, visitors may see the Milky Way in the night sky.
To witness this magical phenomenon, one can take a leisure walk on the Cueifong Lake mountain trail surrounded by tall oaks and hike to the viewing platform at the 800-meter point. Here, a wooden ladder leads to a double-decked area overlooking the lake. On clear nights, the Milky Way lights up the sky making it a truly unforgettable experience.
A road to the past: Jianqing Huaigu Trail
The best place to take photos at the Taipingshan Jianqing Huaigu Trail is most definitely the old moss-covered railway tracks. Originally used for transporting wood, the tracks have since been retired and is left with about 1 kilometer of railroad available for walking on. As soon as you step onto the tracks, you can immediately feel the serenity of the forest coming over you. By following the path, you can immerse yourself into nature and get a glimpse into the past. There is also a small drawbridge that hangs between a valley which makes for the best photo when the fog is thick, providing a dreamlike quality to the picture.
Taipingshan National Forest Recreational Area: No. 58-1, Taiping Ln., Datong Township, Yilan County 267, Taiwan (R.O.C.)
Weekdays: 6:00 am-8:00 pm
Weekends: 4:00 am-8:00 pm